Wordier than Thou hosting $5 literary convention at Emerald City Comics this weekend

More than 25 Florida authors are participating in this weekend's Nerdier than Thou literary conference.

click to enlarge Wordier than Thou hosting $5 literary convention at Emerald City Comics this weekend
Photo courtesy of Wordier than Thou, via Facebook page

Nerd culture is about to get literary this weekend. Local lit group Wordier than Thou is bringing the best of Florida’s literary scene to Emerald City Comics for their 3rd annual “Nerdier than Thou” literary con.

“Most people wouldn’t think of the word 'literary' when they think of Florida,” says Wordier than Thou founder, Tiffany Razzano. “I came down here from New York about 10 years ago and slowly built up Wordier than Thou [starting] about 7 years ago. I was surprised by how many writers are here and by how talented everybody is.”

Razzano formed Wordier than Thou in 2012 with the modest goal of creating a storytelling open mic for fiction and creative non-fiction writers in the Tampa Bay area. “There were already so many open mics out there that catered to poetry, music and spoken word,” says Razzano. “Fiction and creative non-fiction writers needed their own outlet, a place to tell their stories to other writers or those who simply love to hear a good tale.”

Since then, the group has expanded its repertoire of events to include much more than just a monthly open mic. They now organize everything from literary pub crawls and book-inspired burlesque to literary haunted houses. 

Over the past seven years, Wordier than Thou has become a big part of what makes Florida’s literary scene great. “When you’re an author sometimes you can feel like you’re alone on an island, and there’s not a community that understands and can be there,” says Wordier than Thou VP, Erika Lance. Wordier than Thou is changing all that.

“It really is like one big community, one big family,” says Razzano.

This weekend, the group is hosting Nerdier than Thou — a celebration of literary and nerd culture. It’s a great opportunity to discover some of Florida’s indie authors and find your next great summer beach read. 

“This year we have even more authors participating, we’ve expanded to two days, and we have more folks coming out from Orlando, Sarasota, and a little further outside,” says Razzano, “I’m very excited about the author program we put together for this year.”

This year's Nerdier than Thou features over 25 Florida authors representing some of the nerdiest genres in literature. The results is an eclectic mix of Florida authors discussing everything from Florida history to fantasy, sci fi, ghosts, comic books, steampunk, aliens and UFOs. 


Saturday, July 20

Dark Days: Why Dark Fiction & Horror is Coming Back Big Time with K.L. Nappier, Steph Post, Kenzie Jennings and F. F. Amanti. Four Florida dark fiction authors discuss how and why dark fiction & horror have gone mainstream. 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.

Conventionally Speaking Book Presentation. Leisa Clark and Sally Gage discuss Conventionally Speaking: For the Love of the Con, their new essay collection celebrating people’s love of comic conventions and cosplay. 12:15-1 p.m.

Steph Post Author Presentation and Q&A. The genre-blurring Steph Post is known for combining elements of gothic fiction with fantasy in her novels. In her latest novel, Miraculum, Post incorporates elements of fantasy, horror, historical fiction, mystery and magical realism as she follows the performers in a 1920s traveling carnival. 1:15-2 p.m.

Tampa News Force Panel and Q&A. Did you know that the Tampa Bay area has its own satire news site? It’s called Tampa News Force, and it’s like Tampa’s version of the Onion, with fun headlines like “Tampa Doctor First to Reverse Resting Bitch Face” and “Bern’s Steak House to release line of frozen meals.” Meet the writers/comedians behind Tampa News Force and ask them all your stupid questions, because stupid questions are easier for comedians to make fun of. 2:15-3 p.m.

Women in Genre Panel.  It's like a grab bag of women writers. You have Arin Greenwood, who writes books about animals for a YA audience; horror writer Kenzie Jennings; fantasy writer Shelly Drummond; and Stefani Deoul. Deoul straddles two genres — YA mystery and gay & lesbian fiction. All four women will be present to answer any questions you have about their work and genre writing in general. 3:15-4 p.m.

Florida Steampunk Panel with Sadie Blackburn and Shelly Drummond. Find out what Florida Steampunk is at this Nerdier than Thou panel. 4:15-5 p.m.

Nerd Out, an LGBTQ Panel. Stefani Deoul, author of the LGBTQ novel The Carousel, returns for the convention’s LGBTQ panel. She will be joined by LGBTQ poet Rob McCabe. 5:15-6 p.m.

Strange but True Florida Panel. It’s like a who’s who of Florida writers. Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times journalist and author of New York Times Bestseller Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, will be there. As will Lynn Waddell, author of Fringe Florida; Kimberly Lojewski, author of Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart: stories, which won a Florida Book Award Gold Medal in Florida fiction; Tyler Gillepsie, author of Florida Man: Poems; multimedia journalist Gabrielle Calise; and Florida essay writer Jared Alan Smith. 6:15-7 p.m.

Sunday, July 21

Paranormal Florida Panel. If you love ghost stories, don’t miss Sunday afternoon’s Paranormal Florida Panel featuring Mark Muncy and Brandy Stark. Muncy has authored four different books on haunted Florida — Freaky Florida, Eerie Florida, Creepy Florida, 31 Tales from Hellview Cemetery and Tales of Terror from Tampa Bay. Muncy will be joined by local artist and “paranormal investigator” Brandy Stark. 12:15-1 p.m.

Florida Comic Book Writers and Graphic Novelists Panel with Austin Janowsky, Nathan Holic, J.S. Earls and Dwight MacPherson. Four Florida comic book authors discuss the art of writing comic books and graphic novels. Austin Janowsky used to be a professional inker for Marvel before transitioning to film about 2 1/2 years ago. His latest project, the graphic novel Zombies, We’re Human Too, tells the story of zombies before they became zombies. Orlando’s Nathan Holic writes comic-memoir, teaches a comics class at UCF, and is the graphic narrative editor at The Florida Review. They will be joined by J.S. Earls, co-creator of the superhero-fueled podcast SUPERSONIC Pod Comics, and Dwight L. MacPherson, founder of Hocus Pocus Comics and author of the comic book The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo. 1:15-2 p.m.

True UFO Stories Presentation. Tampa Bay Newspapers journalist John Guerra tells the story of an Air Force Intelligence Officer’s experience with UFOs in his latest book, Strange Craft. It sounds like science fiction to me, but Guerra says it’s a true story. Decide for yourself at his Nerdier than Thou presentation. 2:15-3 p.m.

Nick Dichario Author Presentation and Q&A. Dichario's written two science fiction novels: A Small and Remarkable Life and Valley of Day-Glo. His short stories have appeared in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. 3:15-4 p.m.

Creating Characters Panel. Participating authors — Matt Leyshon, Amanda Byrd and more — will be discussing character development while dressed up as characters from their own books. Leyshon is known for his self-published Carl Axford mystery series, while Byrd is known for her Dr. van Wolf saga featuring a fictional human-werewolf-vampire hybrid. Dark fiction really has some of the most interesting characters. 4:15-5 p.m.

Nerdier than Thou | Sat. & Sun., July 20-21 | Emerald City Comics, 4902 113th Ave N., Pinellas Park | 727-398-2665 | wordierthanthou.com

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About The Author

Jennifer Ring

Jennifer studied biology for six years, planning for a career in science, but the Universe had other plans. In 2011, Jen was diagnosed with a rare lung disease that sidelined her from scientific research. Her immune system, plagued by Scleroderma, had attacked her lungs to the point of no return. She now required...
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